Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Asian Cookware and other Cookware topics.
Many great Chinese meals start with a knife. A cook does many things with a good quality cleaver: mincing garlic and ginger, dicing onions and peppers, cutting and slicing vegetables into delicate pieces and creating tender slivers of meat perfect for stir-frying quickly.
Cleavers are available in various grades of steel. The best all-purpose tool is made of high carbon steel that is heavy enough to cut through bones. Plain stainless steel cleavers are fine for cutting vegetables, but are too thin for heavy-duty chopping. Since fresh vegetables play such an important role in Chinese and Japanese wok cooking, invest in a good knife to ensure that this rapid and efficient method of cooking will help veggies retain their individual flavors, colors, textures and nutrient content.
Buy the best quality knives you can afford and keep them on a wall mounted magnetic strip (far above where children can reach) or in a wooden block. Knives kept in drawers get blunt quickly and are a danger to searching fingers.